The Correspondence of Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Vol. 3

The Correspondence of Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Vol. 3

The Correspondence of Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Vol. 3

The Correspondence of Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Vol. 3

Synopsis

1855-1862: This nine-volume editionl represents the definitive collection of extant Rossetti correspondence, an outstanding primary witness to the range of ideas and opinions that shaped Rossetti's art and poetry. The largest collection of Rossetti's letters ever to be published, it features all known surviving letters, a total of almost 5,800 to over 330 recipients, and includes 2,000 previously unpublished letters by Rossetti and selected letters to him. In addition to this, about 100 drawings taken from within letter texts are also reproduced. In its entirety the collection will give an invaluable and unparalleled insight into Rossetti's character and art, and will form a rich resource for students and scholars studying all aspects of his life and work. The correspondence has been transcribed from collections in sixty-four manuscript repositories, containing Rossetti's letters to his companions in the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Hunt and Stephens; friends such as Boyce and Bell Scott; his early patrons, Ellen Heaton and James Leathart; and his publisher friend, Alexander Macmillan. An additional twenty-two printed sources have also been accessed. Index; extensive annotations. WILLIAM E. FREDEMAN (1928-1999) was professor of English at the University of British Columbia from 1956-1991. His many books, articles and reviews on the Pre-Raphaelites and their followers include his important Pre-Raphaelitism: A Bibliocritical Study. He died in 1999 with this edition almost completed; LEONARD ROBERTS is an art historian and author of Arthur Hughes: His Life and Works.

Excerpt

Following the death of William E. Fredeman on 15 July 1999, the future of his edition of Rossetti’s letters was uncertain. Fredeman had completed the correspondence through the end of 1862 (now published as Volumes I and II), and the rest of the letters had been transcribed and many had been annotated. However, crucial passages remained without footnotes, and soon the entire edition was left without a publisher. This “editorial misadventure,” to cite the first subheading in Fredeman’s introduction, seemed destined for further setbacks.

The edition was revived when an editorial committee was formed to complete it, and when Boydell & Brewer Ltd. agreed to publish it. The few deviations from Fredeman’s projected format will be: datable letters without substantive content will now be intercalated into the chronological sequence, while the remaining undatable letters will be printed in full in an Appendix following the correspondence of 1882 as will the other calendars; datable letters discovered too late to be arranged chronologically will appear at the beginning of the first volume of the next set and in the final volume. The lists of abbreviations will be included, with additions where necessary, in the preliminary section of each new set.

At the urging of the Editorial Committee, I will preface this second set of volumes with a reminiscence of William E. Fredeman as the editor of Rossetti’s correspondence. Such a preface seems appropriate, given Fredeman’s own prelude to the edition. Under the heading “Past and Present,” he lists “my closest mentors, colleagues, and role-models.” First as Fredeman’s research assistant, later as his graduate student, and finally as a crony, I witnessed his . . .

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